£4.8m bid for transport schemes in Rutland is rejected

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A £4.8M bid to improve transport in Rutland has been turned down.

Rutland County Council applied for the cash from a £560m pot of money from the Department for Transport but found out on Tuesday that it had not been successful.

Of the 34 unsuccessful bids, Rutland is one of 13 that have been invited to apply again in the second round of funding. Bids have to be submitted by February but decisions will not be made until May.

County council leader Roger Begy (Con), who is also the cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “We would obviously rather have approval at this early stage but the fact that our bid is still in the running is extremely encouraging.

“This has been and still is an incredibly competitive process with high-quality bids for innovative schemes being submitted from across the country.”

The money would have been used to expand the CallConnect bus scheme, which at present runs between villages on the edge of the county including Tickencote, Stretton, Barrowden and Ryhall as part of a partnership with Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire County Councils. It is an on-demand service in which villagers call to book the bus.

The money would also have been used to upgrade cycle routes and provide cycle racks and to launch a bus service between Rutland Water and Oakham and Uppingham to encourage tourism.

A “sustainable transport interchange” would also have been created near the railway station in Station Road, Oakham, with bus stops, taxi rank and secure bike racks to make it easier for people to travel around the county without using their cars.

Coun Begy said the council was still confident it would get the money in the second round of bids.

He said: “We will shortly receive feedback which we hope will indicate how we can improve our bid even further in preparation for re-submitting it.

“We are still confident of a successful outcome and hope to achieve funding for this exciting project.”

The Department for Transport invested £155m in 39 successful schemes, which are designed to boost economic growth and reduce carbon emissions. It has a total of £560m to invest over the next four years.